Although chemotherapy prevented Sam from doing his favorite thing, playing hockey, the teen from Idaho did not let a life-threatening tumor stop him from “lacing them up” again.
Sam has played hockey since before he could go outside by himself. “My kitchen was my ice rink,” the 16-year-old says, “I’d put on my socks and shuffle around the kitchen with my little hockey stick.”
In December of 2010, a medical exam reveals a cancerous tumor and keeps Sam from playing anything. But by summertime, the tumor is nearly gone and a positive prognosis lets Sam back on the ice.
Sam wishes to meet Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. A trip to DC finds Sam in the Capitals’ dressing room with his own locker and new gear. He even gets sized for his own stick.
On the ice the teen spends time with Ovechkin, who provides a bit of coaching. Then Sam plays a game of two-on-two, after which the press wants to know about his winning goal against the opposing goalie, Ovechkin.
It’s a picture perfect memory for Sam.
Sam’s wish was one of the 2012 “My Wish” stories on ESPN’s SportsCenter